8 Valuable Benefits of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card

Southwest Airlines Fort Lauderdale

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Southwest Airlines has become one of the most popular airlines in the United States thanks to free checked bags, no change fees, and no cancellation fees.

While other airlines have tacked on fees for bags and some crushing change and cancellation fees, Southwest Airlines hasn’t given in…and they’ve only made customers even happier.

If you fly Southwest often (or want to start doing so), it might be worth looking into the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card. Here we’ll discuss some of this card’s benefits so you can make an informed decision on whether it’s right for you.

Note that like many credit cards provided by Chase, the Southwest Plus card is impacted by the Chase 5/24 rule, so make sure you are eligible to be approved before deciding to apply.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Benefits

Southwest Airlines not only serves major airports, but they service many smaller airports as well. Additionally, they are a great way to visit Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America.

Earn More Rapid Rewards Points

The amount of Rapid Rewards points you’ll earn from your flights with Southwest Airlines is determined by the price of your ticket (excluding taxes and fees). Southwest has 3 fare types that each earn a specific number of points per dollar spent.

The most common and cheapest type is Southwest’s famous Wanna Get Away fare. When you book one of these tickets, you will earn 6 points per dollar spent. If you book an Anytime fare, you will earn 10 points per dollar spent. Finally, Business Select fares will earn you 12 points per dollar spent.

If you have A-List status, you will earn a bonus of 25% Rapid Rewards points on top of the standard earning. With A-List Preferred status, you’ll earn a 100% bonus.

This can give anyone a nice boost of Rapid Rewards points! But if you’re a regular traveler with Southwest Airlines and have A-List or A-List Preferred status, you’ll really ramp up your earning.

Hot Tip: Check out two of our articles on earning more points: the best ways to earn tons of Rapid Rewards points and how to earn stacks of Southwest points without even flying!

Earn the Companion Pass Faster

Happy Customers on Southwest Flight, International Service from San Diego
Bring a friend on all your flights with Southwest Airlines thanks to the Companion Pass.

One of the most highly sought after perks among those who like to travel is the Southwest Companion Pass. With the Companion Pass, you can designate a companion who can join you on all of your flights for only the cost of the taxes and fees.

It doesn’t matter if you book an award flight with Rapid Rewards points or if you book a cash ticket — either way, your companion can come with you for next to nothing. With the ability to book 2 tickets for the price of 1 (in cash or points), it’s no surprise that this is such a popular perk!

To earn the Companion Pass, you must earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. Once you do so, the Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earned it plus the following year. This means earning the pass early in the year can provide you with the Companion Pass benefit for even longer.

With the help of the Southwest Plus card, you can earn the Companion Pass even quicker. The card comes with a hefty sign-up bonus if you meet the minimum spending requirement within the stated timeframe, which can get you off to a fast start. Check the details of the latest offer to see the current sign-up bonus and requirements.

Thanks to the sign-up bonus, the first year you try to earn the Companion Pass will be a bit easier…but regular Southwest flyers can then use the pass to help earn it again year after year.

Note that since April 5, 2018 you cannot get both Southwest consumer cards at the same time. You also cannot get a second if you already have one of the cards or have received a new cardmember bonus on either card in the last 24 months. This rule does not apply to the Southwest business card.

Hot Tip: Learn more about how you can use the Southwest Companion Pass.

Annual Bonus Rapid Rewards Points

When you have the Southwest Plus card, you will also receive an annual bonus of 3,000 Rapid Rewards points when your cardmember anniversary hits. These extra points can help you book your next award ticket for a great vacation with Southwest Airlines!

Rapid Rewards Don’t Expire

The Rapid Rewards points in your account typically expire after 24 months of inactivity. However, as long as you keep your Southwest Plus card account open, your points will not expire — so you don’t have to worry if you’re unable to use them because of life’s circumstances.

Hot Tip: Looking for more options? Check out these credit cards that are perfect for Southwest Airlines flyers.

Travel Protections

When traveling, you might run into unforeseen obstacles that cause all kinds of trouble. With the Southwest Plus card, you are protected from some of these annoyances.

Baggage Delay Insurance

Baggage Claim Area Lost Delayed Luggage
The Southwest Plus card comes with baggage delay insurance so you can rest easy.

First up, baggage delay insurance. If your bags are delayed by more than 6 hours, you can be reimbursed for the purchase of some eligible essential items like clothing and toiletries.

The baggage delay insurance benefit covers up to $100 per day for 3 days. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of the benefit to ensure your purchases will be covered.

To be eligible for this benefit, you must have purchased the flight with your Southwest Plus card.

Lost Luggage Reimbursement

If your luggage is not only delayed but lost, you could be eligible for reimbursement as well. This is obviously a much more serious situation, and the coverage is much more comprehensive.

This benefit will reimburse you and immediate family members for lost or damaged checked and carry-on bags. Each passenger is eligible for $3,000 of coverage.

You must purchase the flight with your Southwest Plus card to be eligible for this benefit.

Purchase Protection

The Southwest Plus card also provides some protections on purchases you make with the card.

Extended Warranty Protection

If you purchase something with a warranty of no more than 3 years, you could be eligible for an additional year of coverage thanks to your Southwest Plus card.

You can make a claim of up to $10,000 and a maximum total of $50,000 per account.

You must make at least part of the purchase with your Southwest Plus card to be eligible for this benefit. Make sure you check the terms and conditions of this benefit to ensure your purchase will be covered.

Purchase Protection

With the purchase protection benefit, your purchases could be covered from theft or damage for up to 120 days at no more than $500 per claim. This benefit is available up to $50,000 per account.

You must make at least part of the purchase with your Southwest Plus card to be eligible for this benefit. Make sure you check the terms and conditions to ensure your purchase will be covered.

Final Thoughts

The Southwest Plus card provides an easy way to earn Rapid Rewards points, and it can even help you earn the Southwest Companion Pass to really take your award travel to the next level.

Consider how this card might fit your travel habits — you just might find yourself on vacation with a friend or family member thanks to a 2 for 1 flight from the Companion Pass!

Frequently asked questions

What is the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Companion Pass is a perk offered by Southwest Airlines to those who earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. With the Companion Pass, you can book a flight for yourself and bring a designated companion with you for only the cost of the taxes and fees. This benefit includes both cash tickets and award tickets.

What other co-branded Southwest cards earn Rapid Rewards points?

There are 3 co-branded credit cards provide by Chase that earn Rapid Rewards points directly: 2 personal cards — the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card — and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card. Note that since April 5, 2018 you cannot get both Southwest consumer cards at the same time. You also cannot get a second if you already have one of the cards or have received a new cardmember bonus on either card in the last 24 months. This rule does not apply to the Southwest business card.

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

Travel prices are about to surge from pent-up demand.

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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.


  1. I have filed a claim in regards to an item that was purchased using the Southwest credit card and the item has broken. The paperwork was filed on 1/4/19 and I have yet to receive a check for reimbursement nor a reply stating why I haven’t received it. Claim # XXXXXXXXXX


    • Hi K, please be advised *we are not Southwest Airlines*. We are Upgraded Points, a website that publishes information on points and miles as well as other travel related content.

      As such, we cannot assist you with your claim; I have removed your claim number for your privacy. We suggest calling the number on the back of your credit card and inquiring with them directly.


  2. What accidental life insurance benefits are available with the Rapid Rewards card?


  3. As a Southwest Chase member it’s nice to read these benefits are listed, but one of the best benefits was missed, so apparently even the writer, Spencer Howard, did not read their benefits, or is not a sincere card holder, just a writer. The Southwest’s Chase card also provides rental car insurance when a Southwest’s card was used to pay for the rental. So when the rental car people ask you to purchase the extra insurance you can reply with a smile, no thank you, my Chase card provides the necessary added protection.


    • Hi Mark. Thanks for your comment. We do want to point out that the car rental coverage that comes with Southwest Visa Signature cards is secondary in your country of residence. You would need to file a claim with your own insurance company first. However, outside of your country of residence, the coverage is primary.


  4. If I purchase a flight and pay for my accommodations with my SW rapid rewards card is trip delay and or cancellation covered due to weather problems?


    • Hi Kate,

      Weather delays are usually covered under your trip delay insurance. You should review your card’s terms and conditions for more information.

      Thanks for reading!


  5. Julie A Occhino March 14, 2020

    Does the card cover a nonrefundable hotel reservation made for a now canceled Marathon in a state that is shut down due to Corona virus?


    • Hi Julie,

      Unfortunately, the Plus card does not offer trip cancellation insurance. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost yet, many hotel groups are offering to refund previously non-refundable rates due to the coronavirus. Which hotel are you booked with?


  6. sue anderson May 16, 2020

    Do any of the southwest cards offer any type of preferred boarding when the fare
    is purchased with the southwest card?


    • Hi Sue,

      That is not offered with the Southwest Plus card. If that is a perk you’re interested in then I recommend the Southwest Priority card, which gives you 4 free upgraded boarding positions each year.


      • Do you know if the “4 free upgraded boarding positions” are something you do at the time of fare purchase, online 24-hour check-in, or at the gate? Do you know if it is limited to only a specific number of people? and if it applies to both flights if you have a single booking that includes a layover? thank you


        • Hi Sue,

          The upgraded boarding can be purchased on the day of travel by speaking with a customer service agent at the departure gate or ticket counter for availability. The upgraded boardings move you into a spot between A1 and A15, so if those boarding positions are already full, then Southwest will not be able to offer you upgraded boarding.
          Purchases are per segment, so if you have a layover you would need to pay twice.

          Thanks for reading!


  7. Betty Belton July 18, 2020

    I purchased 7 airline tickets to Jamaica and since I live in a hot spot for Covid they have requirements we just can not meet. Does my credit card cover the insurance to get a refund?


    • Hi Betty,

      If you purchased “Wanna Get Away” fares, then the price of your tickets will be issued back to you in the form of travel funds for use on a future Southwest flight. But you will not receive a refund directly back to your credit card.


  8. John Haddad December 9, 2020

    Does this card have a cash out to checking account option? TIA


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